Starting a small business or entrepreneurial endeavour is difficult. There is always risk involved. There is always doubt. And of course, there is always the possibility of failure. The true entrepreneur, however, doesn’t worry about these things and instead prepares, plans, and proactively addresses each possibility. Survival in business relies on the same set of skills as survival in life.
1 – Be Prepared. The Boy Scouts are on to something. Preparation is the number one method to avoid failure. Take any challenging venture; someone who prepared will always have a better shot of survival. On a final exam, those who studied the best will probably pass. If you’re going to climb a mountain, research, planning, and preparation are critical. If you’re going into business, all the same tricks apply. Research! Know your business, know your competition, and know your options. Plan! Have a goal, and figure out what steps you need to take to reach that goal. Prepare! Take the necessary steps to make reaching that goal as realistic as possible.
2 – Don’t Panic. In life or in business, things are rarely as bad as they seem. Keeping a big picture view will help you to realize that the moment you’re in is not likely the life or death situation you might perceive it as. When faced with a difficult business decision, don’t overreact and panic about making the right or wrong choice. If you’ve done your research and planning, then you probably already know what the best choice is. Don’t doubt yourself just because things may be going rough. If you’ve planned appropriately, then panic shouldn’t be necessary. Panic is rarely necessary, and never productive. Make calm, planned decisions, in line with your pre-established objectives and goals.
3 – Follow Through. If you’ve prepared, and avoided panic thus far, then the last thing you can do is act. If you’ve thought the decision through, then making a proactive choice is easy. Start doing whatever it takes to make the situation better. It may require effort, money, time, or other resources, but failing to act usually costs a lot more. In some cases the right actions may be less obvious. Sometimes its necessary to take a step back before moving forward. Setbacks occur, but if they’re handled appropriately, they often position the company on a track to growth and success.
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